Across the Area



Blaze causes damage to home in Evans

Multiple units from Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue extinguished a structure fire Thursday that caused extensive damage to an Evans home.

Neighbors called 911 just before 10 a.m. after seeing smoke coming from the single-story brick home at 4554 Meadow Lane. When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke billowing from the residence.

The homeowners were not at home at the time, and no one was injured, said Battalion Chief Jimmy Paschal.

The fire appeared to have started in the kitchen and is being considered accidental, though the exact cause is still being investigated, Paschal said.


Air conditioning units stolen from apartments

Someone stole 10 air-conditioner units valued at approximately $25,000 from an Augusta apartment complex.

According to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report, the thefts all occurred between 5:45 p.m. Tuesday and 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Providence Place Apartments at 2205 Southgate Drive. The units were taken from different buildings in the complex.


ASU library director retires after 17 years

The director of the Reese Library at Augusta State University has retired after 17 years of service, ASU officials announced Thursday.

Among other accomplishments, Dr. William N. Nelson has held leadership roles on several library associations and was a recipient of the Nix-Jones Award by the Georgia Library Association for distinguished service to Georgia librarianship, according to a news release from ASU.

Augusta man receives hospital service award

Lee Smith Jr., of Augusta, received the Georgia Hospital Association's Distinguished Service Award, its highest honor, at the group's annual meeting on Thursday.

According to a news release, the award is given to a hospital board member who is a recognized leader in the community and in his or her own business or profession; has contributed time and talent to bettering the hospital and other health care services available to the community; has brought about specific and positive changes that have advanced health care services in the community, has increased public attention to the health care needs of the community and has created public concern for meeting those needs.

Contractors honored for safety programs

Contractors for the Augusta Utilities Department's Messerly Water Pollution Control Plant were honored Thursday with an award for outstanding occupational safety and health programs.

The $69 million construction management at risk project -- being constructed by Parsons Corporation -- became one of just nine participants in the U.S. to be accepted into the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration's Corporate Voluntary Protection Program.


Students to compete in poetry contest

Students in Edgefield and Aiken counties will compete next month in the state finals of the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest.

Kaneisha Payton, of South Aiken High School, and Teilor Kynnedi McManus, of Strom Thurmond High School, are two of 10 state finalists announced Thursday by the South Carolina Arts Commission.

The national prize includes a $20,000 scholarship. State winners will receive $200, a $500 stipend toward poetry books for the students' school library and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the finals.


Census Road Tour to be in Aiken on Sunday

The U.S. Census Road Tour will roll into Aiken on Sunday,

The Portrait of American Road Tour will set up on Newberry Street from noon to 2 p.m. to give residents an interactive look at the significance of the U.S. Census survey.

Census workers will guide residents through completing the forms, detailing when the forms will arrive and what is done with the information provided on the one-page questionnaire.

There will be promotional giveaways, exhibits and music.